Are you a heels kind of girl?

There are two kinds of women in this world: women who wear heels, and women who don’t.

Sure, we all switch between the two on occasion, but every woman has a default. I default to heels; this much I know.

Garance Dore’s recent Pardon My French installment, A Day in Heels, got me thinking about heels, and the myriad reasons die-hard heels girls stick to them, especially when—let’s be honest here—some heels are as excruciating as they are gorgeous.

That Iconic Red Sole

In the video, Garance spends her day in a pair of Christian Louboutin heels, of course. Louboutin is the patron saint of stiletto lovers across the globe (and a fellow Frenchie), so choosing to spend 12+ hours in Louboutins is de rigueur. Like Frenchies and red lipstick. But that’s another post.

That flash of iconic red sole speaks volumes about both the shoe and the wearer; with it comes a heady mix of subliminal messages, especially when the wearer has chosen the 100mm or 120mm heel heights (read: high and higher). Wearing a high heel in and of itself is attention-getting. Wearing a Louboutin heel conjures thoughts of money, privilege, luxury, power, sex, fearlessness, and exclusivity. They are sought after and worn by princesses, pole dancers, politicians, prostitutes, pop stars, and proponents of philanthropy. No brand has ever traversed so many demographic levels so elegantly.

From the the altar to the courthouse to the boardroom and back again, many of us prefer to face life’s victories and adversities one heel-shod foot at a time. Louboutin’s red sole is the cherry on top/bottom, but our mojo comes from the heel itself. Three inches, four, five, even six. Whether they are leather, vinyl, strappy, bold, platformed, peep-toed, pointed, or chunky, for millions of women, it’s give me heels or give me…heels.

my high heels

Why I Love High Heels

I have a pair of Pigalle 120s, my dream stiletto, and a Louboutin classic. They hurt like holy hell after an hour, and I can barely walk in them. But there truly is no sexier or more beautiful stiletto. Even if I have to cling to Hubby for dear life when wearing them, when I do, I feel like…what can I say? A woman.  A grown-up woman.

With or without the red soles, I default to heels. From the moment I could conceptualize my mom’s towering, wooden-soled heels of the late ’70s, all I ever wanted to do was wear heels. For me, there is no greater delineator of femininity than high heels. I can’t remember the age I was allowed to finally don them, but once I did, I never looked back. I just don’t feel “dressed” if I’m not wearing heels. Plus, Flats Are Overrated.

Heels make me feel sexy, yes. They feel polished. They also make me feel more powerful. Wearing heels and walking in them gracefully is an art, and any woman that can stride effortlessly in towering heels is not just a sight to be seen, she’s an intimidating one. I already scare the sh*t out of most people, but I consider high heels a necessary part of my professional wardrobe, and a competitive advantage. I can see eye-to-eye with most of my peers and upper-level execs, including the male ones. Nothing about me translates as weak/victim/meek, and my heel-created-height helps substantiate that.

That’s the irony of heels; along with the breasts, they always play a starring role in any caricature of the female form. They objectify us, even as they empower us. They give us height but slow us down. They make us confident while they unbalance us. 

As Christian Louboutin mentions in his interview with Garance in the video (around the 7:23 mark), a woman in heels cannot run. Heels demand grace and measure; prudence in one’s comings and goings; exaggerated car entrances and exits. And so, let us meet those paramours, run those corporations, demand those raises, settle those cases, and navigate those cobblestones in our own, sweet, stiletto-studded time. Let us revel in the irony and the height and the spectacle, in the one thing that makes us unmistakably, unapologetically, undeniably 100% female: our high heels.

Are you a heels girl? Why or why not?

P.S. I can guarantee that poor Garance’s hooves throbbed well into the night after her little experiment. Loubs are not padded, not even a millimeter of padding exists on the non-platform pairs. But how chic was she? Sex on stick, even paired with cropped trousers.

29 comments

  1. I remember playing in my mom’s heels when I went to visit her. She was always wearing heels or Dr. Scholl’s wooden exercise sandals (for casual). She walked effortlessly in even the highest thinnest heel. So of course, when I came to an age, I picked up the heel baton and ran with it! Hiatus while my kids were young and active, but now, in my closet, you’ll find mostly heels. I just love them. The way they make the leg look. The way I feel when I wear them. The way my husband flirts with me when I’m wearing them (It’s a much more overt sexual flirt!!). You’re right! I feel womanly in them. I often hear women tell me that one day, my feet won’t allow me to wear them any more and I always say, “That’s fine ! I’m going to wear them up until the moment I can’t!”

    Regarding comfort. I don’t too around in a stiletto. I mean, if we are going to do a LOT of walking, I’m wearing a thicker heel. I have come to really like the conical heels. But nothing beats a pointy toe stiletto for style and femininity! I do have a heel pet peeve, however, Heels with short shorts…or jean cutoff shorts. I. just. CAN’T! I think that’s a look that looks good in a photograph, but just doesn’t translate in real life. Too much 1980s streetwalker vibe for me!

    Heel on girly!! Serene

    1. Hi Serene!

      I love this…my philosophy exactly: “‘I’m going to wear them up until the moment I can’t!’”

      Thanks for your comment, lovely.

  2. Hey Vahni!

    It’s been a long time since I’ve worn high heels. But, oh do I remember the way they made me feel. Sexy Diva, YES!
    I miss those days, lol….. Ahh, Im all diapers and running errands now. However, I could rock some heels while cooking din din – wonder what my husbands reaction would be. I must try tonight! Just for a laugh.

    Great website! Just stopped by to say HI

    1. He begged me. sorry!

      I miss wearing high heels. I’m cooking and changing diapers now.
      The only place I go out to is Earth Fare for groceries.
      Ya know, just for a laugh, I’m going to cook din din in heels and see what reaction I get. Lol

      Nice website! I check you out here every once in awhile

  3. I default to not wearing heels. I lean toward lingerie for that sexy/powerful feeling. I agree that a woman that can walk, gracefully, in heels is a sight to see.

    P.S.
    Did I miss the results from the blogger survey?

    1. Oh, lingerie is a great secret weapon too!

      No you have not missed the results. I’ve been incredibly slack, but will have them posted very soon!

  4. I love buying high heels and expanding my collection. I would choose any of them over a pair of boring flats. Actually, I routinely only ever have one pair of flats at any give time, I wear them to pieces running around town and shoving them into my bag, donate them and get a new pair. I’m not attached to flats but, man, mess with my heels collection and we have problems.

    However, despite my love, I’m very much a practical person when it comes to my heels I never travel in them and change when I get to wherever I’m going. It’s hard enough to walk elegantly in heels on level floor let alone going up and down subway steps, over cobblestones and grates. Safety is always first!

    1. I do often wear some flat riding boots if I’m touring or have a lot of walking to do. So I’m with you on that. But wear flats out for the evening, to work, or with a dress? NEVER!

      Thanks for sharing!

  5. I can run in heels. 🙂 Taught myself how when I was stuck on Agent Scully (this was also the Era of the Regrettable Red Dye). So I’ll take heels except during archery practice, and even then I do have one low-heeled boot that’s equal to the task.

  6. Unfortunately I’m a flats kind of girl. Every so often I try to make heels work for me, but eventually I realize I just can’t do it. I don’t love the way flats look though, so I go out of my way to find a LOW heel. They’re not easy to find, at least sexy ones aren’t. I just can’t bear the pain of wearing high heels.

  7. I have always loved heels. I was taller and had big feet quickly when I was younger so mom was always fighting with me over what shoes were ‘appropriate’. Apparently heels are not in 5th grade. I think I stopped loving them, when I realized I was towering over all the boys. I wanted to make myself on their level. Or small/petite like the other girls, or how I imagined I was supposed to be. Then in college I said ‘screw this!’ and fell in love with them all over again. I teetered across campus, to church, to lunch. I never cared where we were going heels were appropriate. (Unless it was a random hike in the mountains of TN, obv not appropriate there.) I wore them almost my entire pregnancy, until the baby was pinching my sciatic nerve. Yep, stilettos at 7 mos. Sometime between delivery and now I got back into flats again though. I miss my heels. I’m already a good 6in taller than most of my work team…but maybe I should love my heels again 🙂 (Yours my dear V, are always AMAZING)

    1. Aw, thanks, honey! I loved this comment. You should totally own that fabulous height and rock those heels when you aren’t on mommy duty! Hey, really, even I do flats…flat boots, occasionally ballet flats. But for work and going out, it’s heels all the way!

  8. Oh how I LOVED that video! Not just for the test of fortitude but for the backdrop of Paris as well. I was in my twenties, in the eighties and wore Charles Jourdan pumps moving rounders and fourways on the floor of Bullock’s Westwood daily. Ah yes, truly dating myself as a double nickel. Today, I wear flat boots mostly but trot out the heels occasionally– but only when I have my hubby’s arm to hold on to!!!
    Love the blog!

    1. Hi Corinne, thanks for your comment! Took me a minute to figure out “double nickel,” but I got it now…so clever.

      Found myself chuckling at this: “… trot out the heels occasionally– but only when I have my hubby’s arm to hold on to!!!” When I wear my insanely high/arched Louboutin Pigalle 120s, I cannot navigate even minor inclines/declines without having my hubby to hold on to as well!

  9. Awesome post! I am 46 years old and I still wear high heels (3″ and over) and my girlfriends are constantly asking me if my feet hurt! I limped home after clubbing when I was 25, so why should things change? Heels do empower us and yes they are sexy! LOL, I also have to hang on to hubby on occasion – but isn’t it worth it?

    1. Hi Mona, I loved your comment! Yes, it’s totally worth it, even if you have to hang onto the hubs. And hey, don’t men love to rescue a damsel in distress?! 😉 Win-win in my book!

  10. As a man, I absolutely agree with Christian Louboutin (my favourite heels designer btw). High heels are like a booster pack, we men can’t help but to admire the woman wearing them and we instantly transform into perfect gentlemans – high heels put a spell both on the wearer and the watcher and for that I am grateful.

  11. I absolutely wear heels when I find a brand that doesn’t kill me. I once wore out a pair of fantastic navy blue mary janes i wore 3 or 4 years straight. I bought my entire wardrobe and accessories during that time around those heels.

    Should I ever visit Canada, this is my destination – http://tanyaheathcanada.com

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